Keeping Things Fresh Tinfoils
Pic: Lauren Hira
Manchester Evening News describes these three Yorkshiremen as “sarcastic, satirical and extremely danceable." With two self-released singles under their belts, Royal Baby Machine & Call Of The Abyss, on Foilwrapped Records, the band are fast emerging as one of the must-see bands currently gigging on the North West scene. Supports with the likes of The Blinders, SHEAFS and The Mysterines has seen them grow their fan-base with well crafted garage punk songs full of melody, humour and pathos and they regularly sell out headline shows around the city.
Tinfoils are George Unitt on guitar and lead vocals, Will "Bassface"Burton on bass and Alex "Helmet" Walker on drums. They namecheck the likes of Idles, Thee Oh Sees, Sleaford Mods and Cabbage amongst their contemporary influences as well as doffing their flat caps to Manchester legends, Buzzcocks and The Fall. They sing about real and not so real (hopefully) everyday issues such as being a debt-laden 20 something [I haven't been past zero since the sky was green, even though I've two jobs and I'm looking for job 3] being a voyeur and the media scrum around our monarchy and recent royal births.
I caught up with them backstage before what turned out to be a very strange night at Gullivers NQ, headlining a self-promoted gig with Chuba Capra, Feral Family and Black Clyde & The Tube Disasters.
The first thing I question them about is the nicknames, gleaned from their Facebook page.
George explains:"well he (Alex) works for Deliveroo (other food delivery services are available) and has been known to turn up to rehearsals still wearing his cycling hat straight after a shift. He has threatened to wear it on stage and basically it's my way of goading him into actually doing that. It hasn't happened yet!"
Alex: It might!
The bands biog describes them as "born in Yorkshire but made in Manchester". So one short of a Monty Python sketch, I ask the question how do 3 Yorkshiremen find themselves in one of Manchester's hottest unsigned bands?
George: Well we all came for Uni. Collectively we're from York, Doncaster and Hull but stayed on in the city after graduating. I found these two in a bar in town, got chatting and decided to join them and form a band. It's my first band.
Previously singers with regional accents outside of London were rarely heard. Now over the last 20 years or so with the like of Oasis, Stereophonics and Arctic Monkeys becoming mainstream, it's becoming more commonplace now.
George: I don't really think about it. It's just the way I sing, I don't know any other way. It would be contrived if I tried to change.
When I played "Overdraft City" to a mate he said it sounded like George Formby [one for the teenagers to Google] had shagged Alex Turner's (Arctic Monkeys) mum. I should probably have kept that to myself but I offer it up anyway.
ALL: (Nervous laughter) We'll have to check that out.
Sensing a tumbleweed moment I move swiftly on to the band's name. Anything to do with Tinfoil hats or heroin?
George: Hats definitely.
Will: Our bio on Twitter used to be Hats not Heroin"
What's the dynamic in the band around song writing. Is it a group effort?
George: I write most of the songs.
Alex: Yeah, he'll come to practice and say "wrote a couple of tunes, what do you think?" They're usually ok!
So my next question is quite topical I suppose [the new about Harry and Meghan leaving public life had only just broken]. What kind of reaction did you get about Royal Baby Machine when you released it? Death threats from patriotic Brexiteers? We are living in reactionary times.
George: No, nothing like that. It's not personal attack on the Royals, We don't have any animosity towards them.......
Alex: .............I do!
George: It's about the whole media circus around it, selling tabloid papers. People getting bound up in all the hysteria, buying commemorative mugs and shit. I think people have been able to see it for what it is.
So what's in store for 2020? Some more releases. An album perhaps. Tour supports?
George: Well we'll be back in the studio for sure. Not sure we're in a position to record an album just yet. Tour support? Yeah, why not that would be fun. More gigs really. This gig tonight is the result of us booking the bands, hiring the venue and doing the publicity.
Yes, that escalated quickly didn't it? Must have sold a few tickets in the last couple of days. Did you blitz the social media?
George: Yes, we don't have a manager yet so we have to do everything ourselves. Fortunately it's a sell out.
Alex: It's a bit tiring though as we'll be doing the door right up to before we go on ourselves!
Later they take the stage and absolutely smash it. I'm still singing the songs all the way home. Turned out nice again!
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